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“Good Down Home Southern Food”

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Pan Pan's Hardtimes Diner
Ranked #537 of 764 Restaurants in Durham
Cuisines: Diner
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Waitstaff
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
213 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Good Down Home Southern Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2011

I've walked by Pan Pan Diner many times while out shopping at Northgate and told myself that I should make an effort to eat lunch there some day......and I'm glad that today was the day I finally did.

My partner and I were seated near the cafeteria line / buffet and it looked really good. They had fried chicken, bar-b-que chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatos, lots of greens and lots of veggies. They also have a soup and salad bar around the corner.

I'll go back and sample that some other time tho, because today we both had specials that were posted on the board out front. My partner had the fried whiting (fish) and two sides, I had the 7 oz ribeye steak with garlic bread and fries.

It was delicious! My steak was cooked to perfection (medium rare) and my partner raved about the fish.

The service was good, the atmosphere was pleasant and the price was right.

I'll definitely go back again sometime.

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Dgtl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    7
    3
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jennygwen
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“It was Average”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2011

I really can't understand the rave reviews of this place. It was okay. It's a buffet and it's located in the mall. I guess it used to be somewhere with more character. The food was decidedly average. The fried chicken was very good, as was the peach cobbler. Everything in between was pretty mediocre...the turkey, lima beans, pot roast, etc. The corn was brown and inedible.

The server was very nice and friendly, but I would never go back because the food just wasn't very good. I've eaten a lot of good soul food and this just isn't it.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennygwen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
44 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“This is what I am talking about”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2010

Wish and Ken came all the way from New Hampshire and morgan came from San Antonio on Memorial Day Weekend just to eat at Pan Pan's. The food is delicious with all of my favorites among the selections. The only problem was I didn't have room enough to eat it all! This was my first stop after arriving at RDU! The incredible buffet has all of my favorites among it.

I had previously eaten at the old diner on Hillandale and this new location didn't miss a beat in comparison with the old diner.

The staff were very accommodating and friendly. Enjoying The special companionship of having Wish and Ken to dine with was great. What more could life be?

I highly recommend a trip to this wonderful diner.

    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Morgan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Georgia
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome cholesterol slammin' food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2010

Yeah, it's definitely not health food but it is SOUL FOOD. The flavors are awesome! This is how it ought to be done: this place rocks! The vibe is righteous and the staff are nice as can be! I have one question though. Was this an Asian Restaurant in a former life? How wild a FUSION FLAVOR would THAT be? Wow. Anyway... If you got the munchies and are on I-85 going through Durham: hit it!

    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Fitzy_665
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, NC
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I wanna go to the Pan Pan Diner; I wanna go right now!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2010

Been a fan of the Pan Pan since it was on Hillandale Rd. So glad they finally opened up again in Northgate Mall. The food it just incredible...real soul food. Turkey & dressing, chicken livers, oysters, EVERYTHING is so good. And the staff is always nice and attentive. And even the soul music they play is fantastic. The only problem is that I eat so much that I can't go as often as I'd like. :(

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank FishCampBarbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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